Covid-19 and the Miracle on the last night of Chanukkah in Rimouski..
The oxygen levels were feeling depleted and Ozzie Appleby was frustrated and tired, but he knew he had to finish his route. He had been selected as a Member of Canada’s Winter Olympic team as a cross country skier. At twenty one he was in peak condition but Covid-19 had played havoc with his regular training program. He had spent most of his time in isolation and he reported via Zoom to his coaches. He gave them nutritional information, workout schedules, and times and distances. He had been given an electronic device that measured all kinds of different elements that happened in outdoor conditions and how he performed facing those different types of challenges. It was not ideal as the Coaches would have liked to have been there to check out mechanics and find ways to shave seconds off his times, but it just wasn’t feasible. The Winter Olympics were still eleven months away, but Ozzie knew time went fast, and he still had competitions coming up in Europe if they weren’t canceled because of Covid-19.
Ozzie returned to his cabin, took a shower and looked at the law books on his dining room table. He had a few hours of studying in front of him. His life had become training the body in the morning and the brain in the afternoon. He was in his last year of Law School and he was grateful for online lectures. The fact he was in Rimouski, Quebec, and his Law School was in Toronto, made the distance seem non-existent thanks to online lectures.
Being in a remote location was sometimes lonely but Ozzie had become friends with some of the people from Rimouski and they had been warm and gracious. Covid-19 was a problem everywhere and it had even hit this gorgeous destination. As a result, he spent most of his time by himself.
Ozzie’s parents were always checking in on him, and he was constantly texting and talking with his Brother and Sister. It gave him a sense of normalcy. The other thing that gave Ozzie a feeling of comfort was to follow traditions. He was Jewish and he spent two hours every Saturday morning praying, and he kept a vegetarian diet so he didn’t have to worry about eating non-kosher food. His Coaches had been on him about needing more protein which meant meat, but Ozzie wouldn’t have it. If it wasn’t kosher he wasn’t going to eat it.